ZERO-MAN: Maximalism Through Oil Painting. Introduction. Chapter 7.


Intelligent painters (creators) should move to a place where it is pleasurable and peaceful to be productive. Major cities are ripe with distractions and violence, and expensive to keep your eyes away from where they belong. It is my experience that moving from a costly income and stressful environment is the best way to hone the painting spirit. My painting production flourished after removing my mind from the city industry. Painting sales and commissions have become much more lucrative in the country, even in Trenton, South Carolina. I would have never believed that. Everything else I learned about the south was complete and utter garbage. The South is an inviting and pleasant place to live. I recommend it. The sound of birds and frogs provides your mind and soul with a powerful inspiration to create. For me, at least. But let’s go back to the beginning.

I turned my work into play as a kid. Marking my name was the game at the time. Venice High School, Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s, finding my place. Space on the walls between V-13 and CxC. That’s crips and blood for the laymen. Territories were fierce when I was in school. You had to know your place for sure. Writing over another tagger’s name was asking for a death sentence. Most people don’t understand how extensive the gang’s control reaches in this World. Not this country, but the World. There is no more significant concentration of gang members in the U.S. than in Los Angeles. I grew up in the most highly congested area, where gangs would outnumber the police ten-fold—considering that the Mexico border was the 101 freeway 100 years ago. It is no secret that organized crime formed its beginnings in the Wild-Wild-West. Los Angeles, in the mid-80s.

Here are some statistics I found doing some research for the numbers of gang members in Los Angeles, California: (sourced linked below)

The Crips, Los Angeles, California, formed in the late 1960s to 1970s. One of the most ruthless and significant gangs in the World. The Crips gang is dominated by African Americans and is associated with the color blue. The group has had a bitter rivalry with another group called the Bloods. Today, the Crips operate in more than 40 states in the United States of America and have more than 20,000 members. But despite their expansion to other areas of the country, their stronghold remains Los Angeles.

The Mara Salvatrucha gang, who use machetes to hack people to death, had approximately 70,000 members worldwide. And growing. The MS-13 gang began in the 1980’s from a wave of immigrants fled from El Salvador, due to the civil war. Though they began by protecting immigrants, the gang’s intentions altered over time, and are known as one of the most violent in the 21st century.

The Latin Kings, one of the most dangerous gangs in the World. With more than 43,000 members across the country, with both male and female members. Formed in 1940, to preserve Hispanic culture. Became violent over time, and in the 1990’s became known for the term “anybody killer”. This meant that anybody that got in their way would be killed.

Aryan Brotherhood of California, a neo-naz prison gang and organized crime syndicate based in California. Estimated between 15,000 and 20,000 members. Founded in 1964 and transformed into one of the World’s deadliest and most violent gangs. The gang’s motto is “Blood in, Blood Out”.

La Eme, the Mexican Mafia, has a massive membership that would make other illegal organized gangs seem small. According to government officials, the gang has 400-500 official members with around 100,000 to 500,000 associates in different parts of the world, hoping to become full members. Referred to as the gang of gangs. It started in California to protect Hispanic men in the prison system. Then evolved into a criminal organization with laid out rules. No cowards or informants. Among other rules.

The Bloods, the most famous gang in the United States. Wearing a dominant red color, was created in Los Angeles in 1972 to compete with the Crips. Today, there are more than 25,000 members in Los Angeles and other parts of the United States of America.

Public Enemy Number 1 (PEN 1) is a street gang based in California. Is a white supremacist group that has earned the reputation of being the first hybrid gang with members on the streets and in prison. Making money from drug dealing and an assortment of crimes.

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